Faf du Plessis sees nothing wrong with the ‘passion’ Kagiso Rabada shows during his wicket celebrations.
Rabada has been banned by the ICC for the remainder of the Test series against Australia.
The ICC confirmed the ruling on Monday, after the Proteas’ six-wicket win in Port Elizabeth, which saw Rabada named the Man of the Match.
Rabada, aware of the verdict, admitted at the post-match press conference that he needs to learn how to curb his aggression in his celebrations.
Du Plessis addressed the media on Monday after his side’s dominant victory and once again was bombarded by non-cricket queries.
The Proteas skipper addressed the Rabada issue, but showed no concern with his speedster’s approach to the game.
‘For me, the way KG plays the game, he is a competitive fast bowler. He works bloody hard. He runs in and bowls quickly for a long period of time. So, when he gets big wickets, that’s a celebration, that’s energy, that’s passion. For me it’s pure passion,’ said Du Plessis.
‘Obviously, these days the attention has focused on what is allowed, what is not allowed. I just think that has changed so much over a year or two. Two or three years ago that was the norm, there would have been nothing from him. It’s just pure passion.
‘If you know KG’s character, he is not a guy like that. It’s just pure working hard for a wicket. It’s like Dale Steyn. Fortunately for Dale, he does it at the top of his run-up where he blows his brains out.
‘I don’t get nervous. KG will probably have to get a bit smarter when he celebrates a wicket. I don’t think he does anything wrong.’
Du Plessis instead called for consistency from the ICC.
‘I think that’s the biggest concern. Everyone just wants consistency. One match referee interprets it one way and the other in another way. If you make it so sensitive, guys will interpret it the wrong way.
‘I think we’re going on the sensitive side with everything at the moment. Every single incident is on camera. It’s Test cricket.
‘As I’ve said, we have no issues with the way the Australian team plays their brand of cricket. It’s good for the game of Test cricket.
‘People talk about where Test cricket is going. For me, the small battles are important. It’s about KG running in for 15 overs trying to get someone out and when he does, he has to show some sort of passion. Otherwise, you can just put a bowling machine out there and a robot to bat.
‘The series has been too much about other stuff. It should be about the cricket. There is a lot of off-field stuff that is taking the shine off some unbelievable performances from KG and AB [de Villiers] that should be headlining every day.’
Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images